Days pass, one by one, to state the obvious.
A slogan on the back of a truck caught my eye yesterday. It said “Birthdays are good for you. The more of them you have, the longer you live”. Several times yesterday I was put in mind of the passing of time.
I shall bypass the creaking noise when I got up in the morning as one of those, and note instead the arrival of the Celebrity Solstice (121,282 Gross Tonnes, 2,850 passengers and 1,500 crew). The cruise ships speak to me of the passing of time, not only because of the seasonal nature of their visits, but also because they come with the dawn and depart at day’s end. The grey ship berthed astern of the cruise liner is HMNZS Canterbury, the Royal New Zealand Navy’s logistics ship.
As Celebrity Solstice sailed over the horizon into the gathering dusk, much smaller vessels were giving their owners pleasure off the beach at Petone.
A small fleet of Optimist yachts were competing slowly for line honours. The wind that had persisted for most of the day had lifted a lot of salt water into the air. The haze is such that you can scarcely make out the disabled Aratere berthed at Aotea Quay in the background.
Since it was a fine evening and Mary was at work, I went out to Pauatahanui where, to my great pleasure I saw a few kingfishers after a long absence. They weren’t close enough for good images but they were back.
At the hide on the Southern side of the inlet, there were spoonbills, plovers, and a few shags. However, the evening itself was so attractive that the reluctance of the birds to come close was a minor thing.
As I left the hide, a noisy group of low flying plovers harassed the more sedate spoonbills snoozing on a sandbar until at last the bigger birds flapped off to a quieter part of the inlet.
Nearing the exit, I noted the setting sun lighting the little church at Pauatahanui and though I heard no bells, I thought of Thomas Gray’s Elegy ““The curfew tolls the knell of parting day”
*Thomas Gray, Elegy written in a country churchyard